WordPress theme preview is a great feature from WordPress wherein, it lets you see what your design or content looks like just before you publish it.

Creating a post or page is fun and can be somewhat satisfying but what if you cannot see how it would look like when published? How can you tell whether its good or not? What if your WordPress theme preview doesn’t work?

This problem can come from many reasons. From a poorly coded theme or plugin issues to the script on your website that has used up all the memory limit.

But it doesn’t have to come from all those complicated stuff that we encounter that involves resetting your site, or resetting the plugins, or increasing the memory limit, or, on the worst case, using the WordPress “Helpline”.

Sometimes, all you need is a good old folder name change.

Yup, you read it right. A folder name change. Not the solution you expected? Keep on reading and find why changing the folder name fixes the WordPress theme preview not showing, and how to do it.

Why WordPress Theme Preview Doesn’t Work?

WordPress Theme previewWe’ve known about this problem for quite a while. Ever since a few updates ago when they added the new preview feature, we’ve noticed a few of my themes don’t show up in the preview.

We never really worried about it because it obviously doesn’t have any adverse effects on the actual performance of the theme.

But now that we’ve been giving our themes away and people have been asking us all kinds of questions, one question we’ve had several times is – why is the preview showing a blank screen?

The answer is actually really weird and simple. We didn’t actually figure this out until later, but the reason the preview is blank – on some themes – is because WordPress doesn’t like the folder the theme is in to have space in the name.

For example, our WP Contempo theme does not show a preview. The folder that WP Contempo comes in simply says WP Contempo.

How to fix the problem?

So easy. All you have to do is rename the folder to remove the space. There are 2 ways you can do it.

Step 1

If you use something like Dreamweaver, where you can edit files on a server, just navigate to where the theme folder is stored and add the _.

Step 2

Alternatively, you can also re-download the theme, unzip it, and rename the folder to add the _, then upload the theme. It won’t matter if you already have the same theme as space as well.

So we changed my WP Contempo folder to WP_Contempo, and voila! The preview worked just fine.


And that is how you fix a WordPress theme preview not working properly. Pretty simple right? It is a pretty basic solution and MAYBE it won’t fix your problem. But it’s better to start somewhere than nowhere.

Instead of doing all those complicated and risky solutions which involve potentially deleting your content, or on the worst case, deleting your site, why not start with a rather simple and straightforward solution.

Now that we know this, we’ll be making sure that all our future releases follow the proper folder naming convention so there won’t be any more problems with the preview.

If you have any more questions, contact us or post a comment below and we will answer your concern.

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